It is that magical time of year again, Succot, the GREAT CELEBRATION OF TREES TO BE TURNED INTO WOODEN BATS, when we construct batting cages to sleep in for 8 days and 8 nights.
In Israel, I have learned, to commemorate our great history, for one full month each year, NO ONE DOES ANYTHING. No one works. There is no school. No one answers their phones. And this year, that month was September.
What little American remains in me cannot accept simply doing nothing for an entire month, for we are machines, rugged individuals, each of us a factory, industrialists, existing on sheer will, brut force, and reality TV. So I went to the wise sage Neon Leon Klarfeld, King of All Jewish Safety, Wellbeing, and Barbecues, and we devised a master plan, over chicken wings and ginger ale, of course. We discussed creation, how to make somethingness in this extended period of nothingness. We activated the QUITE POWERFUL BEAM OF LIGHT, the KOJB signal, if you will, and gathered our staff of coaches. We packed our cars with bags of squishy baseballs, batting tees, home plates, baseball cards, foam bats, and flyers, and headed out into the brutal countryside to deliver nourishment like mana to the baseball starved youth of Israel for the 1st Annual Succot Baseball Clinics- a couple of regular Jewish Baseball Santa Clauses.
We went to 4 locations in 4 days; Jerusalem, Raanana, Kibbutz Gezer, and Tel Aviv. We practiced together under the hot sun, Leon and I meeting early each morning, him limping, stiff from the day before, making us Turkish coffee on his portable propane stove, me pulling the car up as close as possible to unload, paperwork, schedule, set-up, here come the kids. Each place we visited, a small green-blue-orange baseball flame was ignited, sure to become a raging bonfire of light by Hanukah, 150 kids in 4 days, the spirit of the game, so many high-fives.
Today is the final day of Succot, and the final day of the holidays. Tomorrow, Friday, people will be returning to school and work for a grueling half-day, it is, after all, a holiday, again, a time to relax, the Sabbath.
Thank you to all the coaches who came out to help. We’re doing it.